A Discovery Bible Study (DBS) is an interactive way to explore and learn about God through the Bible. It helps people to better understand what they are reading and how it applies to their lives. It’s different from most other methods of studying the Bible because you don’t have someone telling you what they think it says or imposing their interpretations on your understanding.
The Discovery Bible Study (DBS) Method has catalyzed church planting movements all over the world over the last few decades, and has helped countless people discover the truth of the Bible. Let’s learn more about this powerful method!
In this article, you’ll learn…
- What an inductive approach of reading the Bible is
- Why it’s best in a group setting
- How to facilitate a DBS, and what questions are used
- Which scripture passages to use
Let’s get started!
What is an inductive approach of reading the Bible?
An inductive approach of Bible reading is a process by which a person applies their own understanding to what they are reading. A Discovery Bible Study is an opportunity for unbelievers to come together and explore God’s Word through discussion. This type of study can be done on any book or passage from the Bible that you want!
Usually, when doing DBSs with unbelievers, the group will start in Genesis and go through the Old Testament to Jesus. In Waha, these are the first 2 Foundational Story sets. With this style of Bible study, there’s one important rule: avoid telling other participants what they should take away from Scripture.The only thing you need before starting is curiosity about exploring God’s word and open mindedness.
Why do DBSs in groups instead of just one-on-one
You for sure can do a DBS with just an individual…But here is why it is so powerful to do these studies with a group (called a Discovery Group) of your friends or family. In a group setting, your friends or family can share with one another what they are learning and connect that to how it relates in their lives. They will be able to see the big picture of Scripture together!
Also, when unbelievers decide to follow Jesus, their group isn’t surprised or threatened by their decision. They’ve been a part of the process all along. Isn’t that amazing?? Also, when the entire group decides to follow Jesus, they can form a church together! These groups can happen in any context: urban or rural settings, in traditionally non-Christian environments, in coffee shops, homes, or even outside at a park.
How to Facilitate a DBS
How does it work? A meeting consists of 3 sections:
- What is something you are thankful for?
- What has stressed you out this week, and what do you need for things to be better?
- What are the needs of the people in your community, and how can we help each other meet the needs we’ve expressed?
- What was the story last time we met?
- What did we learn about God and people?
- In our last meeting, you decided to apply what you learned. What did you do, and how did it go?
- Who did you share something with from the last story?
- How did they respond?
- We identified several needs last time we met and planned to meet those needs. How did it go?
- Now, let’s listen to a new story from God…
At this point in the meeting, we read (or listen to) a story from God.Often times, it is helpful to listen to the passage 2 or 3 times so your group can really digest what it is saying.
- Now, let’s have someone retell this passage in their own words, as though they were telling a friend who has never heard it. Lets them them if they leave anything out or add anything by mistake. If that happens we can ask, “Where do you find that in the story?
- What does this story teach us about God, his character, and what he does?
- What do we learn about people, including ourselves, from this story?
- How will you apply God’s truth from this story in your life this week? What is a specific action or thing you will do?
- Who will you share a truth from this story with before we meet again? Do you know others who would also like to discover God’s word in this app like we are?
- As our meeting comes to a close, let’s decide when we will meet again and who will facilitate our next meeting.
What Scripture passages do I use for my group?
We suggest that you download the Waha app by clicking here.
After you download, you can see several Story Sets (scripture lists) that your group can go through.Generally, we recommend that groups go through the “Foundational” Story Sets sequentially.Here are the Foundational Story Sets you’ll see in Waha:
- From the Beginning Until the Birth of Jesus
- The Life and Message of Jesus
- Making a decision about Jesus
- Being Disciples
- Being the Church
- Being Leaders
- Growing as Disciples
- Growing as the Church
- Growing as Leaders
Each story set has about 13 lessons.
Download the Waha app here.